Ward 17 residents in Bulawayo have voiced out their concerns over delayed food aid distribution in the area amid reports that it is the only ward in the city yet to receive its allocation.
Ward 17 covers Pumula North, Hyde Park Villages, and Hyde Park.
Speaking to CITE Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said that ward 17 residents are tired of being short changed on the food relief programme.
“We had a meeting on Sunday with the residents and they are not happy with the delays because it seems like they are the only ward that have not received food so far,” said Sibindi.
“On behalf of the residents we urge the organisations responsible for distributing food to residents to act as soon as possible because in this ward we have so many old people that are in urgent need
Sibindi said the system can be abused by people who want to benefit at the expense of vulnerable members of the community.
“The delays can be prevented if proper procedures and practices are followed.”
He said that while residents are waiting, they were worried about the spike in cases of partisan distribution.
“The drought relief is always given in a partisan manner, despite the directive that everyone must get food.
“This food is not supposed to be given to anyone and everyone but to the vulnerable individuals and families such as the elderly people, disabled members, orphans and disadvantaged members of the community,” explained Sibindi.
“We know that there is already a list made for people who are going to benefit from this drought relief programme and the question remains who is making that list because it is not the councillor, House of Assembly representative or the residents themselves and that is why the aid does not reach its targeted population.”
BPRA chairperson added that the councillor for ward 17 should be granted access to the list of beneficiaries because she knows the people that are in need of food in the area.
“We have since decided to set up a committee that is going to approach the ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social welfare so that there is parity at the end.”